Wide Angle

The ex-wife of a Moroccan diplomat accused of visa fraud conspiracy in the US

The ex-wife of a Moroccan diplomat was arrested, Wednesday, in the US for her alleged involvement in a conspiracy to commit a visa fraud. The woman in question is accused, alongside her brother, of hiring Filipino domestic workers as personal helpers, based on materially false documents.

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A woman who was married to a Moroccan diplomat in the US was arrested, Wednesday, for allegedly recruiting several Filipino domestic workers at the Moroccan Consulate, reports New York-based newspaper Lohud, quoting a federal indictment

A press release, made public by the US Department of Justice, states that the woman in question, Maria Luisa Estrella Jaidi and her brother are accused of «involvement in a conspiracy to commit visa fraud, make materially false statements, and induce aliens to illegally come to, enter, and reside in the United States».

The woman, who was married to a Moroccan diplomat from 1980 to 2016, and her brother had allegedly been «admitting consular officials in order to bring domestic workers into (the US) for their own monetary gain and lifestyle», Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said.

Conspiring with a Moroccan diplomat ?

According to the same source, the suspects brought Filipino nationals to work at the consulate, but instead of making them serve as «technicians, secretaries and administrative assistants in like they were promised, they worked as their personal drivers, domestic helpers, farmhands on their Ancramdale, New York farm, and assistants in their Bronxville home».

The indictment recalls that between 2006 and 2016, Jaidi and her brother with the help of a third person conspired to «fraudulently procure visas for at least seven Filipino domestic workers». 

The same source stressed that the third person, who «was not named as a defendant in the complaint», is «a diplomatic agent accredited to the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations (the “Moroccan Mission”) with the rank of Ambassador». The diplomat in question is Abdeslam Jaidi, who served, indeed, as Consul General at the Consulate General of the Kingdom of Morocco in New York.

The indictment states that «in order to fraudulently obtain visas for the domestic workers, Jaidi caused them to submit visa applications containing materially false statements and to submit fraudulent employment contracts in support of those visa applications».

For the record, the suspect was presented on the same day of her arrest in White Plains federal court before the judge, while her brother is still on the run.

Article modified on : 14/03/2019 21h31

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